Some matters in the body of Christ are self-evident.  A time for talking is over and action is the topic at hand.  As is so often the case in ministry, can enthusiastic discussion actually produce tangible results?

The Corinthians had made an enthusiastic claim that they would help the believers in Jerusalem.  Their energetic claim inspired Paul to share that gesture with the Macedonians.  As a result, these believers gathered a generous gift for the Jerusalem saints and had it delivered.

However, the Corinthians were slow to finish what they intended to start.  Follow-through was a matter that concerned the Apostle.  Paul appreciated initial excitement but was also discerning enough to be concerned about results as well.

Like most of us in ministry, we have all heard boasting, active talking or even bold promises.  However, keeping our word is an important next step.  Finishing is a quality consistent with the best of Christian values.

Paul feels responsible for the Macedonian’s actions which were directly a result of Paul’s testifying of the Corinthian promise to get involved.  It would a discouraging moment if the Macedonian’s gift of help was not then paralleled by the Corinthians who expressed all of the initial bravado.  Paul was coming to receive the results of the Corinthian intentions.

If he arrived and if the Macedonians accompanied him but all found the Corinthians had not lived up to their expressions of generosity, that would lead to a very embarrassing and shameful situation.  Paul would certainly be chagrined.  Hopefully, the Corinthians would be also.  Paul was attempting to help them avoid this uncomfortable situation.

Paul wants to help.  To do that he is sending brothers in advance to help complete the arrangements of the Corinthian gift.  They will help the believers in Corinth fulfill their promise. 

Advanced preparation will keep the gift decked with cheer.  Good preparation will avoid any grudges attached to the gift.  Money that is given with regret or in a spirit of negativity will spoil the offering.

In the ministry promises are too often made with great intentions only to be reneged upon once time, circumstances or a change of heart occur.  The loss of the gift is a hardship but also the lives of those who have been disappointing are also a casualty as well.  We who follow Jesus must keep our promises, reject the ease of empty words and quietly follow-through with what we have said we will do.

2 corinthians 9.1-4

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